Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall"

Saw that quote this morning and thought it most appropriate for today's blog post!  There's a definite change in the air and although Autumn takes a bit longer to reach Texas, you can tell it's on its way. The sun is still super strong but there's no humidity and there has been a nice breeze in the air the last couple of weeks. The change from Summer to Fall is subtle but tangible.

Football is in the air, too.  Friday we made the 30-minute trip to the Allen Eagles stadium for the Hoover game.  We have been incredibly impressed with all of the high schools we've been to since moving here and Allen did not disappoint.  Seriously folks.  Everything really is bigger in Texas. Every one of the high schools KJ has played lax or volleyball at has been state-of-the-art and Allen was by far the nicest facility we've ever seen. And, it wasn't just the beautiful football stadium, it was the people. The citizens of Allen were incredibly hospitable to the visiting team.  We went out to dinner before the game and had a guy stop at our table to welcome us and wish us luck (KJ and I were wearing plain black shirts but Coach was wearing a Hoover polo so he was more easily identifiable).  Of course we explained that we haven't lived in Hoover for over 3 years now but he was genuine and sincere when he said Allen was excited to play Hoover.  We parked our car next to some Eagles fans and they wished us luck as did the police on the Segway, the lady at the gate who took our tickets and the volunteer who was on hand to direct me to the ladies room during the lightening delay.  It was just easier to smile and say "yes, it was great, thank you" when repeatedly asked "how was y'all's drive in?" rather than explain we live in Texas now. Some guy even clapped Coach on the back and said "we sure are glad you're here and hope Everyone's been treatin' you well."

We've had such a wonderful summer filled with many blessings  ... a beautiful baby (great) niece was born into the family last weekend, our beautiful niece is getting married this weekend, and our nephew got engaged!  So incredible to watch the next generation growing up and carrying on.  We are all so so excited about the wedding this weekend!  We haven't really seen Coach's side of the family since his mom passed away January 2015. And, of course, I can't wait to see T and Johnny Frat Boy!!

KJ had a great first week of school.  I can NOT believe this kid is driving herself to school each morning. Each Friday from now until after Homecoming (basically the entire football season) is dress-up day. Last week was Hawaiian day, this week is Fisherman Friday, I know there's a nerd day in there somewhere, a twin day, a super hero day, a jersey day, etc.  She has finally decided on a career path and has joined a couple of clubs to reflect her choice and she's got a couple of scheduled college visits coming up. Yikes. And, of, course, she's counting down the days until her Costa Rica trip.

T-bone is loving her new job, her nice paychecks and her cute apartment. She loves her location and is always tickled when she runs into people in the darnedest places. She goes to yoga regularly, the farmer's market each week, catches a baseball game when she can and has dinner with friends.  When Frat Daddy comes into town they rent bikes and explore. She has a couple of girlfriends in T-town for grad school so she sees them regularly and a bunch of them recently met in Nashville for a friend's birthday.  She and Johnny Boy have also had a couple of weekends at the beach.  Yep. She's got it made. My friend LCM has always said, "T is a rock star and I wish I had her life." She is 100%  right. T has always done things her way and has always had a ball doing it.  She's a combination of Mary Tyler Moore, her friend Rhoda and Carrie Bradshaw all rolled into one. #CosLife

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sweet Sweet Summa Time

Everyone measures time differently . . . some measure by the seasons, some measure by school years, some people have great memories and can remember exact dates.  I am none of these people.  I can barely remember what I had for breakfast.  My memories are usually based on a couple of things -- where I was living at the time and who else was with me.

For example, the girls tease me all the time because I have an incredible memory for some things, others, not so much.  I can remember what little outfit the girls were wearing but can't remember exactly what grade they were in or exactly what year.  But I can remember if one of them was "in the stroller."

So here we are . . . our 2nd summer in Texas and KJ is about to start her JUNIOR year of high school.  How in the hell did that happen?  I mean seriously.  How in the hell did that happen?  She finally got her driver's license in June (after her cast came off) and her daddy took care of her and bought her a cute bright red convertible.  She's been baby sitting and house sitting a lot this summer and had fun volunteering at the Aquarium each week.  I think this is her "summer to remember."  That golden summer measured by days at the lake, driving around with the top down and hanging with friends at Six Flags.  Such a different place from where we were at this time last year.

We had just moved here, I was up to my eyeballs in boxes and we didn't know a soul.  She had just finished freshman year in Maryland, we road-tripped from Maryland to Dallas with the dog in tow, closed on the house, buzzed to the pageant, she went out west with my folks, came home for 1 night and went to volleyball camp, came home for 1 day and then had high school volleyball try-outs.  This summer we had T's graduation, moved her into her new apartment, had some family visit this summer and had some new friends to celebrate the 4th of July with!   We had summer lax 3 nights a week (when I say "we" I mean Coach and KJ), we did a couple of day trips and have enjoyed working on our tans and lazy days by the pool.

And now our baby is about to start her JUNIOR year of high school.  How in the hell did that happen??

Monday, March 21, 2016


Can't believe its been a month since I've blogged .... feels like just yesterday!  Soooo much has happened the last couple of weeks!

First and foremost in our minds, our hearts and our prayers is one of Coach's former lax players. Just days after the 10th anniversary game where he came by the fields to say hi to Coach (he couldn't play in the alumni game that evening because he was attending an engagement party), we found out that Coop had been in a horrific single-car accident.  His vehicle caught on fire and was helped from his car by bystanders driving by.  Since the accident, Coop has been airlifted to a burn center in Augusta, GA and has had to endure many surgeries and procedures. His mom was T's 3rd grade teacher and we absolutely adore his dad. Christian is one of those special players that Coach misses greatly .... he was in that first group of boys who played all four years of high school.  Christian was one of the first players that Coach graduated.  Please pray for Christian and his wonderful family. 

After our weekend in Hoover, Coach and I enjoyed a kid-free weekend in Austin, TX. Yup, we left KJ home alone for the first time and yes, the house was still standing when we got back!  We stayed at the Renaissance off of Congress and spent Friday and Saturday exploring.  Friday afternoon was just gorgeous and we rested at the hotel's patio with some margaritas.  Friday night we had a wonderful Italian dinner right near the hotel and then walked over to 6th to hear a band that a friend recommended.  Still so much more I want to do and see but am proud to say I ate at my very first food truck!!

The following Friday KJ and I flew to Ft. Myers for Spring break.  We arrived late Friday night but were ready for the beach bright and early Saturday morning.  We took out one of the pontoon boats and went down to a side of Lover's Key, anchored, shelled for a bit and had lunch.  When we got back to the marina we hit Bonita Bill's for happy hour and had so much fun!  Sunday we had breakfast at a cute little café and drove to Sanibel and Captive.  We had a late lunch at the Green Flash, got dessert to go from the Bubble Room and watched the sunset sitting on the beach at Captiva.  Monday we went shopping and Tuesday we met up with my sister-in-law and niece for the afternoon.  Wednesday we played mini golf in the evening and Thursday we went to the other side of Lover's Key and rented paddleboards. We had the most amazing time and saw tons of manatees. They look like huge brown rocks in the water but once they get moving, watch out!  At one point, a mama and her calf were right under my board!  It was kind of scary! 

We flew home Friday afternoon and spent the weekend planting and doing yardwork with Cosmo.  KJ had a game Tuesday night and scored 4 goals. She's playing so well!  Saturday TCU beat the pants off of Baylor and we celebrated with our traditional post game burgers at Dutch's and on the way home we did some shopping in Grapevine.  Sunday we had incredible filets on the grill and ran some errands.

Meanwhile, T and Pony Boy spent their spring break on the slopes in Breckenridge.  We have the most amazing friends who took wonderful care of those two (and the dog!) and they enjoyed the snow and being out West!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tacos(s) Tuesday

If we were a normal family, we'd have tacos for dinner tonight since it's Tuesday. But: a). we're not a normal family and b). lacrosse season is upon us in full force.

KJ was supposed to have a game tonight but it has poured all day and is quite windy and chilly.  Only been about 45 degrees today, which is a far cry from last Friday's high of 80.  Instead they are watching game film at the rec center. She had her first home game last Thursday and scored 3 goals. Unfortunately 1 was called back for a crease violation.  But, she did get the game ball. Her lax team is extremely sociable ... the girls have team dinners, they meet for lunch, they go out after games and they really look out for each other. What is even weirder is that the team is comprised of players from 2 rival high schools.  Huge rivals. If this was any other sport, they'd hate each other.

Coach loves being at TCU.  Great group of guys!  Two weekends ago they played at LSU and KJ (and her mechanical baby!) drove down with him on the team bus.  T and Pony Boy met them in Baton Rouge since she knew couldn't be in Hoover this past weekend for the 10th Anniversary.  He told me the other day he doesn't know if he could ever go back to coaching high school. Although he loves putting a stick in a kid's hand while they are young and making sure they learn the basics, he never enjoyed coaching the little little kids. Said it was like herding cats. And while he always loved his time at Hoover, the last couple of years were rough.  I think things changed a bit for him after T's class graduated. Those first couple teams were extra special because everything was new and they were so enthusiastic.  The kids (and parents!) got a little jaded as the years went on and suddenly everyone was an expert. People who (obviously) never even heard of lacrosse until their child picked up a stick were now suddenly questioning each call the refs made, questioning their kid's playing time, buying the most expensive equipment on the market and basically questioning why their kid wasn't getting a D1 scholarship.   In any event, the torch has been passed and the current coaches are doing a great job!  Coach loves the fact that 5 of his former Hoover kids and 1 of his BamaLax boys are coaching programs!

We had a great but very very quick weekend in Hoover. We got in late Friday night and by 10 am Saturday Coach was at the fields for a long, long day of lacrosse. KJ met up with a friend for breakfast and then joined us at the high school.  We had such a great day visiting and spent time with folks we hadn't seen since we rolled out of Hoover.  The girls made KJ feel extra special and came out of their way to see her while she was in town.  The alumni game was a ton of fun and we all went out for drinks afterward and closed down the bar. KJ spent the night with a friend and we picked her up Sunday morning and headed back home. Of course everyone asked her how she liked Texas and everyone was amazed at how well she's adjusted. Which makes my heart happy! 😏😏😏

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dont be this person!

I made myself a promise years and years ago that I would never be "that" person. The person who constantly talks about:
  • Money or sex ... because if you're talking about it, you're probably not getting any of it!
  • Politics ...  because, well, just don't. Do your candidate research and do your civic duty and vote. Vote for the candidate that will represent you, your family and your core values.  However, keep in mind that we all have different needs and beliefs.
  • Diet and/or exercise ... we all have that one friend who posts random stuff like "ugh! Ate so much this weekend, time to start eating clean!"  And then they bore everyone with all the minute details of everything they ate (or didn't eat), how many miles they ran, how many Pilates or Yoga classes they attended that week, etc., etc., etc.  No. One. Cares. Trust me. No one.
  • Being Born Again ... this includes not only Religion but also encompasses being a recovering substance abuser (don't get me wrong. I support any one who struggles. However, do not judge or lecture me because I enjoy a glass of wine with friends or a Margarita on the rocks with salt when I'm at a Mexican restaurant). The Born Again category also includes folks who abused their bodies for years and years with unhealthy living and now push vitamins, essential oils, Plexus and AdvoCare on their family and friends and inundate us all on the importance "knowing what goes in our bodies." This is usually the same person who smoked 2 packs of cigs a day in secret while her kids were at school and fed those same children Happy Meals 3 or 4 times a week. 
So, sometimes I may come across moody or bitchy or rude or uncommunicative but honestly its because I don't want to be "that" person and bore everyone around me.  If you want to talk books, movies or sports, great!  Tell me a funny story. Let's talk travel.  Suggest a shop or service or new restaurant you think my family and I would enjoy.  Just please don't tell me how to vote, brag about money or your sex life (ick!) or bore me with posts about your work-out routine.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Top 10 Reasons Why i Like Living in Texas

So we've basically been in Dallas since July (if you want to get technical Coach moved here in April, KJ and I got here mid-June but our household goods weren't delivered until June 29) and I think it is now safe to say all parties involved are pretty happy!

A la David Lettermen, here are my Top 10 Reasons Why I Like Living in Texas (other than the fact that BK is from Texas): 

#10. The Shopping --  I have some of the best shopping I have ever had in any state I've ever lived in within a mile or two of our home.  From trendy little boutiques to specialty shops to large national chains, any store I could ever need is right nearby.

#9. The Food -- as with Shopping, the selection of restaurants is wonderful!  We have a favorite hamburger place, a favorite Sushi place, a new favorite taco place, a favorite place to grab a pizza and we even have a favorite smoothie place.  If we want Italian, Greek, Chinese, Mexican, seafood or something we didn't even know we were craving, it's all right here.

#8. Sports -- if you want to play it or watch it, Dallas is the place to be!  Hockey, Football, Baseball, college teams, high school teams, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, Top Golf, ... you name it, it's here. 

#7. Outdoor (and sometimes Indoor!) Adventures -- Six Flags is here, numerous water parks, a zoo (one here in Dallas and one in Ft. Worth),  indoor sky diving, Zip Lining, indoor rope courses and lots and lots of parks!  We have a wonderful park right outside the entrance to our subdivision and frequent regularly.  And yes, I've even started running again.  And there are lots of water sports, too!  We've already been paddle boarding and this summer I can't wait to hit the Hill Country and do some river tubing on a hot sticky weekend. Plus there are lots of cool swimming holes around. And if you feel the need to go snow tubing but don't like the cold, you can always go sledding at the Gaylord Texan like KJ and the kids did at Thanksgiving.

#6. The Weather -- so far, the weather in Texas has been very very good to us. We had an extremely pleasant first summer in Dallas. We had a handful of 100+ plus temps (maybe 5 days total?  7 at the very most) but they were not unbearable and we didn't really have any humidity. I was expecting much much worse.  We've had 1 tornado warning since we've been here (like "full-on sirens / get to your safe place NOW!" kind of deals) but having experienced that in Ohio and Alabama, it wasn't terrible.  We had a couple of "chilly" days (low 30's??) and an hour or so of snow flurries. Now, I know Texas weather can been extreme and highly unpredictable but again, so far so good. 

#5. Small Towns -- I love the quaint small towns we have nearby ... Grapevine especially!  Christmas was incredibly magical in Grapevine, there's always some kind of festival going on it and has some of the best #9 and #10 listed above!  Although they aren't considered "small" towns (because let's face it, EVERY thing is bigger in Texas), I'm looking forward to exploring San Antonio and Austin and we like wandering around Ft. Worth.  Not sure yet how I feel about Houston.

#4. Our House --  Coach and I agree this is quite possibly our favorite house we've ever lived in. This house is SO us. It's just right for our needs right now.  The layout is perfect for us, the room sizes are great and everyone has nice big closets, we love the media room and all our furniture looks great! 

#3. Our Pool -- seriously.  We love the pool.

#2. Texas Pride -- every where you look and every where you go, there's either a HUUUUUUGE Texas flag flying over head or there's Texas star somewhere.  I  actually started to take pics of the stars because they are so cool! 

Dang!  I just realized that I haven't even mentioned how much we love KJ's school, the art scene here, how pet-friendly it is here, the cool college towns or the great museums!  I probably should have made a top 15 list.

And the #1 reason why I like living in Texas:  The People!!!  Everyone here is so damn friendly and nice. No one cares where you're from or where you've been, no one cares if you're an Auburn or Alabama fan, no one minds what church you go to, no one has questioned my accent (or lack thereof) and no one has called me a (damn) Yankee or said "oh. You're from up North."  I have yet to meet a single gossipy or judgey person.  The parents don't gossip on the sidelines (they might wish their kid got a little more playing time but they don't engage in negativity towards the coach or the program). No one is pretentious or showy or fake or phony.  It's not a constant competition.  And I really really like that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

it just takes a little planning

I've always been a risk taker and a list maker so I've always used some type of traditional paper planner for as long as I can remember.  Back in the late 80's / early 90's I used the Day Planner system.  I used a wedding planner when we got married and used a companion planner to the popular "What to Expect..." series when I had the girls (the little planner/organizer was perfect to take to doctor's appointments and take notes during both of my high risk pregnancies).  I've also had to rely heavily on planners/organizers during our many household moves and to keep track of everyone's activities and schedules ... volleyball, dance, softball, lax, lax and more lax.

There is just something about starting off a new year with a fresh new calendar.  It is the equivalent of starting the school year with new pencils and notebooks.  I love sitting down and opening up that calendar for the first time.  The first thing I take care of are any important dates I'm aware of ... birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, sporting events, etc and then fill in daily or weekly as we go along. I also like to sit down as a family on Sunday morning and menu plan, go over Everyone's schedules and organize my to-do list. 

Over the years I've moved on from the Day Planner and have used the large Lilly Pulitzer agenda a couple of times and at one point I also used a Mom's planner that I absolutely LOVED!  However, this year I decided to stick with what works best for me ... The Plum Paper planner (found on Etsy).  I think this was the 4th time I've ordered from them and have never been disappointed.  I can custom create my cover in a variety of colors and patterns (they used to offer a photo cover that was one of my favorite options).  Plum Paper offers several layout options, you can choose add-ins and extra pages, too. 

Thanks to Easy, Pinterest and Instagram, I've been introduced to the whole sub-culture of decorating your planner.  Now, we all know I am not the most creative person on the planet but this is something I've really had fun getting into.  Some folks go all out and create themes with coordinating stickers, etc.  I kind of do that, but not near as elaborate.  Some months have an obvious theme .... February/Valentine's Day, November/Thanksgiving, December/Christmas.  On the less obvious months I found myself decorating my planner with inspirational quotes and quirky sayings and lots of glittery stickers and washi tape.  It's only the beginning of February but I think I'll enjoy decorating my planner thought the year!

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